Throughout 2019 we’ve gotten some pretty fantastic opportunities to learn from thought-leaders in the cannabis industry. From regional events like Southern Hemp EXPO to internationally renowned shows like MJBizCon Las Vegas, we have traveled near and far to show businesses how Gold Leaf can help manage and grow their brand.
To help keep the momentum within the cannabis industry moving forward, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things to do for your cannabis brand in 2020.
1) Complete an audit
While at MJBizCon, we attended a session on advertising in a highly regulated market—presented by Mariah Martinez. Toward the end of her talk, she summed up some next steps for people in the audience. On her third and final point, Mariah urged brands to complete an audit of the following:
· Social Media
These components of your cannabis brand are critical. In an industry landscape where businesses can’t simply pay to boost a post on Facebook, you have to create customer experiences that captivate user’s attention—encouraging them to advocate and share you brand’s messaging organically.
With your website and social media, shoppers can learn more about your product offerings and what you value as a company. But what about people shopping in-store?
For dispensary shoppers, it’s all about your product’s presentation. And that presentation is made possible through packaging. Look below. In each of these three examples, brands are communicating who they are through their packaging.
Moving into 2020, it’s crucial you’re not only listing all necessary disclaimers but are also accurately representing your brand.
Brand- RIZE Concentrates
About- “Technology meets creativity.”
How this translates- RIZE chose a packaging design that incorporates futuristic raised holographic foil, as well as geometric lines that engage the customer’s mind as they turn the box—viewing all sides.
Brand- Breckenridge Hemp Co
About- “…provides the purest possible full spectrum therapeutic pharmaceutical-grade CBD.”
How this translates- Using a soft-touch coating, minimalistic design, and raised gold foil, Breckenridge can position itself as a brand that uses high-quality, clean products.
Brand- Mammoth Labs
About- “Our Chemist who has mastered in Hydrocarbon Extraction Operations, produces concentrates from the Highest Quality Cannabis Strains that have great terpene profiles with high THC content.”
How this translates-
For a scientific approach, Mammoth uses our raised holo foil to illustrate forward-thinking products. Also, the raised varnish calls attention to the beaker—showing their pride in the science used to create their products.
2) Work with reputable professionals.
Cannabis is out of the dark, and your branding should be too. During the early stages of legalization, there was a rush to push products to market—it was every seller/ business dream. In some places, such as Canada, entire markets were on the brink of selling out. But, now that cannabis legalization is becoming the new norm, it’s essential to look at the long-run game.
Like any other market, businesses want their products to be memorable in the hands of the customer. However, unlike other markets, cannabis companies face their own set of restrictions and guidelines. Moreover, as a federally illegal drug, regulations seemingly change daily and by state. If done incorrectly, something as simple as a missing logo on your packaging could cost you a lot of money or even your license.
Moving into 2020, reduce risk to your company by working with reputable professionals. From product packaging design to marketing collateral and promotional items, ensure all branded touch-points communicate a consistent tone.
By working with companies, such as ourselves, we can keep product packaging, labels, stickers, promotional items, flyers, business cards, and more all in one place.
3) Incorporate technology
There are two significant ways technology can be incorporated into your branding assets.
First, the machinery it takes to produce a product.
While printing has been around for hundreds of years, like any craft, there have been significant advancements made to help it benefit the world as it has evolved.
When it’s time for you to choose a printer for your brand’s marketing materials—be it cannabis packaging or business forms and documents—be sure you’re selecting a printer that can adapt to the fast-paced world of cannabis.
As mentioned in the paragraphs above, cannabis regulations (especially surrounding packaging) change rapidly and frequently. So it doesn’t always make sense to purchase 100,000 units when you might have to discard of 63% of them.
Instead, look for printers that offer low minimum order quantities with quick turnaround times. These production times will help keep your company agile and adaptable.
The second type of technology brands can use to streamline their marketing is using software-as-a-service solutions.
If you’re already ordering packaging and marketing collateral, ask yourself these three questions:
A) Do we use more than one vendor?
B) Do we have issues with color or quality consistency?
C) Would it help to have an online storefront customized to our brand’s products?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to incorporate technology into your branding. With products such as DigiFLO, you can automate your packaging, labels, and more with the touch of a button.
Change batch numbers, content percentages, and approve proofs to print within minutes.
4) Never stop learning, so your brand never stops growing.
If you’ve made it this far into the article, you’re already on the right track.
Follow industry blogs and thought leaders to stay in the loop with best practices and new technology (see #3) that will help your cannabis brand flourish in 2020.
Often the most creative ideas come when you least expect it. To help facilitate this, allow yourself the flexibility to get your mind off work; then, when you’re scrolling through social media, get inspired by a quote/ packaging design/ marketing campaign.
By learning new things, you’re more likely to (whether intentional or subconsciously) push your brand to great things.
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – Harry Truman
5) Be mindful of the environment
For some cannabis brands, this is easy. By creating a brand with natural colors or earth-themed elements, companies naturally attract like-minded customers. On the other hand, if you’ve positioned you brand as a luxury item, environmental concerns might not be top-of-mind. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Regardless of your target market, there are packaging options that can give you the best of both worlds—eliminating plastic pollution while keeping all the extra embellishments that draw people in.
Using cannabis packaging that is printed gives you the option to opt for paper than can be recycled or has previously been recycled. Additionally, even products printed using our foil and varnish technology can be recycled.
To reduce plastic in the cannabis industry, we at Gold Leaf Print & Packaging strive to educate companies about the simple switches that can be made. For example, when wrapping bath bombs, instead of using blister packaging that requires a special plastic mold injection, opt for recyclable issue paper and exterior packaging.
We believe the adage “no one knows your brand like you do,” to be true. Which is why we strive to operate as an extension of your marketing team—helping you maintain brand consistency as you grow your business.
If you’re ready to kick off 2020, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with a dedicated account executive.
And, if you’re implementing any of these 2020 cannabis branding tips, be sure to let us know!